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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I bumped a few similar threads but was struggling to get input, so sorry for the new thread.

Quick backstory: I have a 330Ci at ~250k miles. A mechanic (who I won't be going back to) used an oil sludge remover & did an oil change after having concerns of debris getting in the oil lines from some other work. A week later the car threw the two codes, P0014 and P0015, and it started running super rough. P0014 and P0015 are exhaust camshaft is advanced & retarded compared to where the should be.

What I've done: I back-probed the exhaust side camshaft sensor & it looks to be fine. The wiring harness is supplying it correct 12v & ground, and the 5v reference line fluctuated between 5v and 0 as I cranked the crankshaft.

What's next? Here's where I need some help. I think the vanos unit isn't working correctly, so I think I'm going to pull it & the solenoids off and clean it with break cleaner. I'm thinking some chunks of oil "sludge" broke free and are blocking up the vanos unit.

Does this seem like a good plan? Are the solenoids something you can clean & test easily?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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Discussion Starter #3
That sounds a little scary.
Are there chunks of debris in the oil system?
What does the oil filter show?
If there is debris, expect it to be in more than one place.

P0014: "B" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced (Bank 1)
https://www.obd-codes.com/p0014
P0015: "B" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)
https://www.obd-codes.com/p0015

You can see the VANOS and camshaft position values in INPA.
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1274003
Good point. I was planning an oil change at some point after doing work to fix the issue. I'll drain a bit and take a look & check the oil filter.

Thanks for the link for the INPA, I thought that was some expensive tool I needed. I guess it's time to install windows...
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ok, I haven't found found much on what to do once you've got INPA running, but I went ahead and started it up. It's in german so I'm not sure if I missed much.

I got a pic of the vanos values when the car was off, and then at idle. They looked pretty similar.

error codes:
906496


vanos w/ engine off:
906497


vanos engine idling 1:
906498


vanos engine on with light throttle (~1500 rpm)
906499


"rough" section, wasn't sure what it was but I grabbed a pic:
906500



I'm going to read up those codes to see if there's any more details. Would love any insight into the vanos/cam details. Let me know if there's another screen I should be going to in INPA

PS: sorry for pictures of a screen instead of a screenshot. My bootcamp installation got all messed up when I upgraded to windows 10 and now most the functions don't work lol.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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Tips:
  1. Type the German error code description into translate.google.com, then Google the error code with its English translation.
  2. Look up the fault codes on this website. BMW Fault Code Lookup - BMWFaultCodes
  3. This blog describes VANOS operation pretty well. BMW VANOS Variable Valve Timing Magic – How it Works, Symptoms, Diagnosing Timing Issues, and More!
  4. This BMW training document goes even deeper. https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=498260&d=1426736083
  5. A simpler explanation. Diagnosing a Failing BMW Vanos System - When to Repair Your VANOS
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here’s a tip: type the German error code description into translate.google.com, then Google the error code with its English translation.
Here's the error codes translated:
27BD: camshaft timing control exhaust bank 1 control
28B8: exhaust camshaft bank 1 mechanically
3C1E: camshaft timing control exhaust
3C1D: crankshaft encoder: signal
3C1F: Camshaft sensor: exhaust signal
 

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2004 325i automagic
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Here's the error codes translated:
27BD: camshaft timing control exhaust bank 1 control
28B8: exhaust camshaft bank 1 mechanically
3C1E: camshaft timing control exhaust
3C1D: crankshaft encoder: signal
3C1F: Camshaft sensor: exhaust signal
FYI, on the error code picture in INPA, try going into "detail" or F2 where it should give you "freeze frame" type info for each code but also may give you the generic PXXXX version of each error code which can be easier to research. I know INPA does this for the newer ms45.1 sedans, though not the older ms43 sedans ... but not sure if the coupes are the same or not.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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FYI, on the error code picture in INPA, try going into "detail" or F2 where it should give you "freeze frame" type info for each code but also may give you the generic PXXXX version of each error code which can be easier to research. I know INPA does this for the newer ms45.1 sedans, though not the older ms43 sedans ... but not sure if the coupes are the same or not.
Yeah, freeze frame data is very helpful to see the engine context when the code tripped.
The coupes and sedans have the same DME software and INPA functionality. It mainly varies by the DME family: MS42 vs MS43 vs MS45.1
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
FYI, on the error code picture in INPA, try going into "detail" or F2 where it should give you "freeze frame" type info for each code but also may give you the generic PXXXX version of each error code which can be easier to research. I know INPA does this for the newer ms45.1 sedans, though not the older ms43 sedans ... but not sure if the coupes are the same or not.
Thanks for the tip. I'll go check that.

I think I know what the root cause of the issue is, but it doesn't look good. I pulled out the oil filter and didn't see anything initially, but after spreading open a few of the filter "folds" I found tons of small pieces of plastic, almost as small as sand. I found one larger piece that was probably a few mm long and 1 mm wide. I found this thread where the guy had the same error code, and the vanos piston stuck. I'm thinking that there's a bunch of plastic bits through the oil line and probably some preventing the piston to move. My worry is to what extent this is happening 😔
 

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Your VANOS may need a complete rebuild. That includes new pistons. Get the o-rings, etc. from Beisan Systems. It sells the best VANOS rebuilt kits.


Are you hearing any noise that sounds like a rattling timing chain?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Your VANOS may need a complete rebuild. That includes new pistons. Get the o-rings, etc. from Beisan Systems. It sells the best VANOS rebuilt kits.


Are you hearing any noise that sounds like a rattling timing chain?
No rattle, but the whole engine shakes like only a couple cylinders are working lol.

I probably will do the rebuild since I have to take the vanos unit off to get to the exhaust side solenoid, but do you think the vanos unit failed because of the debris? or based on the codes & symptoms?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I pulled off the vanos unit today. One thing I noticed is that the exhaust solenoid had oil coming out of the connector when I pulled it off. Could that cause the solenoid to fail?

Otherwise, the pistons seemed fine-ish. The exhaust was a little hard to push at first and then moved, but I can't imagine it was stuck enough that the solenoid couldn't move it, the solenoid looks pretty strong.

Unfortunately my battery died so I haven't been able to pull the detailed code info from INPA.

Another question, is anyone able to read those vanos values and know if they imply anything?

Thanks for the help!
 

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I pulled off the vanos unit today. One thing I noticed is that the exhaust solenoid had oil coming out of the connector when I pulled it off. Could that cause the solenoid to fail?
Fwiw, not saying that it couldn't cause a problem, but when I got my car at 95k miles the exhaust vanos solenoid was leaking into its electrical and it didn't seem to cause any issues, definitely not any cam timing codes.

(I also had a crankshaft sensor leak oil into the wiring harness, and one or both leaks made it up to the dme; I would get an occasional can bus com code and engine time out code but the car ran normally and I can't say for sure if those codes were related to the oil in the wiring or not.)
 

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The coupes and sedans have the same DME software and INPA functionality. It mainly varies by the DME family: MS42 vs MS43 vs MS45.1
Thanks for clarifying.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Ok. I reached out to Raj @ beisan systems and he said before doing the vanos to replace the camshaft sensor. I let him know I did the probe test and he said pretty confidently that it's the exhaust camshaft sensor or the wiring. Curious if I could get one of the knock off sensors to test if that's the issue, and get the OEM one after. It's just that a $100 here and there for sensors add up.

I notice that I have a lot of "signal" codes, for the intake & exhaust sensors as well as the camshaft sensor. Does that mean the wiring could be faulty? How would i know?
 
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